Control Descriptions can appear as either Symbolic or Textual:
Symbolic control descriptions use the International Orienteering Federation's specification for control descriptions, which in many cases is mandatory.
Textual control descriptions may be preferable for novices or youth courses. A textual control description for a control will use a wide box containing the descriptive text instead of the 6 symbolic boxes.
For each control, in the Control Dialog, you can specify a symbolic description for the control, and you can also enter a textual description. For the text of a textual description, see How to specify the Text for Textual Control Descriptions.
Control descriptions on the map and control descriptions separate from the map are handled slightly differently, so read on.
Control Descriptions on the Map
The control description "objects" that are printed on the map, each have their own individual settings for appearance, which you can configure by double-clicking on the control descriptions.
For symbolic/textual appearance, there are three options:
Alternatively, you can configure explicitly that the control description is symbolic or textual. This overrides the setting for the course and for the class.
This latter option allows for example that you put multiple control descriptions on the same course, where one is symbolic and another is textual. This could be useful for a novices, who is not comfortable with the symbolic descriptions alone and needs a textual "legend".
Separate Control Descriptions
"Separate control descriptions" are those that are printed separately from the map and usually carried in a holder on the competitor's arm. You print these via the Print Control Descriptions dialog (Print / Control Descriptions menu).
Separate control descriptions can be printed either by the course or by the class:
This means that if you specify "textual" for a given course, then if you select this course in the Print Control Descriptions dialog, the control descriptions will be textual, regardless of the settings for the classes that run this course. If, instead you select a class, then the setting for this class will apply, regardless of what is specified for the course that the class runs.
Normally, separate control descriptions are printed per course, so that all classes on the course will use the same control descriptions. If, however, you want two classes on the same course to have different control descriptions; one uses symbolic, and the other uses textual, then you should configure this for the two classes, and select the classes - not the course - when you print separate control descriptions.